Dr. J. Damodharan, MD*

Introduction

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is common in the general population, affecting the majority of adults past the age of 50 years. The prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) is

approximately one-third to one-half that of total CVD.

No other life-threatening disease is as prevalent or expensive to society. Persons with CVD are likely to die from their

disease.

As a diagnostic category, CVD includes three major areas:

  • Coronary heart disease (CHD) manifested by myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, and coronary death.
  • Cerebrovascular disease manifested by stroke and transient ischemic attack
  • Peripheral vascular disease manifested by intermittent claudication.

Also of interest, and of increasing importance, are chronic arrhythmias, electrocardiographic abnormalities, and left ventricular hypertrophy, established by electrocardiography or echocardiography.